info@sharklab-malta.org

Become an Intern

If you are passionate about sharks, and are looking for an internship to support your studies, then Sharklab-Malta may be able to help. We support internships on a 3, 6, 9 and 12 month basis, with you working alongside us on our latest projects and community engagement activities.

You won’t have to pay to become an intern with us, but you will need to self fund your travel and accomodation costs.

You can hear from some of our recent interns below.

If it sounds like your studies may fit well with us, and you would like more details then feel free to contact us.

Elise Delcour – Marine Sciences Masters, Sorbonne, France

Jul 2020 - Aug 2020

I am planning to make the study and conservation of top predators my future research subject.  Despite the COVID crisis, I wanted to continue to gain experience and knowledge in the field of sharks and rays population studies and this is what I found in my internship with the Sharklab!

Indeed, as a “Fly with Bull Rays” intern, I’ve been asked to prepare shark’s dissection, photo-identification, wholesale fish market inspection and public presentation.

It also made me discover the Bull ray (Aetomylaeus bovinus) species, which is unprotected in the Mediterranean sea, despite the fact that they are considered as critically endangered.

Furthermore, working with Sharklab gave me the chance to meet and laugh with some incredible people. Working with other ocean lovers is always so motivating.

This new experience has allowed me to move a little further on the path of studying large predators, and I hope to have the opportunity to be able to work together with Sharklab in the future!

Ella Zahra – I Was an Accidental Sharklab Intern

Jun 2020 - Sep 2020

Hi! I’m Ella, a third year undergraduate Marine Biology student studying in Scotland. After my second year at university was cut short unexpectedly by the pandemic, I had to move from Scotland to Malta for six months. I had no assignments or work set up for the summer and made a decision to contact Sharklab Malta to see if I could become an intern on short notice. I had been following their work for the last couple of years and thought it could be fun.

Because of other interns having to postpone or cancel their internships, I was given a place as a Sharklab intern and joined Will and Anona in the Fly With the Bull Rays project. I had never seen a bull ray before and going round the island to different bays really opened my eyes to the amazing underwater wildlife of the Maltese Islands. When the COVID cases calmed down in July, I got to meet the rest of the team and some new interns. Despite a reduced number of activities, the three other interns and I still had an amazing time and plenty to do.

With loads of help from Pam, Dave and Rachel, we got to dissect two Longnose Spurdogs (S. blainvilli) to add to the exhibition collection, have multiple visits to the wholesale fish market where we rescued four nursehound shark eggs from dead mothers, and went on Sharklab’s first surveys in Gozo. I had an unexpectedly amazing summer and learned so much from the members of Sharklab Malta. Joining their family was the best decision I made during the pandemic. I can’t wait to join the family again when I’m back in Malta!

Nouska Smith – Sparsholt University, UK

Jul 2020 - Aug 2020

Hello! I am Nouska Smith and I study marine ecology and conservation at Sparsholt University. Although covid-19 cut my internship short in Malta, I still gained a great amount of knowledge and new skills.

The main tasks I took part in included the ‘Fly with Bullrays project’, presentations, dissections and the rescuing of egg cases at the fish market. I enjoyed every aspect of my internship and every task was filled with new facts and information!

The dissections were my favourite part, seeing the anatomy and understanding the system as a whole gave me a greater insight and can be used for future educational reasons for the next generation. 

Meeting other interns and members of Sharklab-Malta who are just as passionate as I am about the ocean drives me forward and motivates me to continue on the pathway of marine biology.

I cannot wait to go back to experience and learn more!

Will Redding – Nottingham Trent University, England

Feb 2019 - Jul 2020

Hi, I’m Will and I came to Malta in February of 2020 to complete an internship as part of my university course, wildlife conservation. 

I chose Sharklab as I wanted to gain knowledge and experience that can only be obtained by spending time with the passionate people on the front line of conservation. 

The whole team at Sharklab helped me immensely and I thoroughly enjoyed the range of activities I assisted with. Despite being in Malta through the first wave of COVID-19 I was still able to complete some work as me and another intern continued to survey the sandy areas around Malta’s coastline looking for Bullrays, contributing to the ongoing project ‘Fly with Bullrays”. 

Each new experience taught me invaluable skills whilst making me proud to be helping to progress the research, public awareness and valuable conservation work that Sharklab-Malta conducts. Everyone I met during my time became a good friend and I look forward to seeing them again!

Anona Griffiths - Cardiff University, Wales

Feb 2019 - Jul 2020

My name is Nona and I am a Marine Geography student from Cardiff University. I came to Sharklab-Malta as part of my year in placement and I absolutely loved my time with such a passionate charity.

I was able to take part in international projects, surveying for the Fly with Bullrays project. I was able to attend fish markets and gather catch data, this gave me insight into the government procedures and the inner workings of fisheries. I also took part in egg case recovery, removing eggs from sharks, skates and rays, which have of been caught prior to laying them. This meant that as well as collecting data I got to be a part of conservation with a physical end result that could be seen immediately. I also gained valuable experience in dissecting elasmobranchs and understanding the adaptations they have gained to survive.

Prior to lockdown I was also able to gain lots of experience in education giving talks at schools and events at Malta National Aquarium.

My placement was initially planned to last for three months but due to COVID-19 I chose to remain in Malta and undergo lockdown there with another intern. We continued surveying for the FWBR’s project when and where it was safe to do so. I was eventually able to continue the rest of my work for Sharklab and my placement was extended to 5 months. I’m so grateful for these extra two months as I was able to expand on my scuba-diving, my knowledge of elasmobranchs and the number of surveys I was able to complete.

The experience I gained was incredible and gave me so much insight into a job and working life in conservation. Overall, I look forward to returning to Malta and working with Sharklab again in the future and I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to gain an understanding of working in conservation.

Rhianna Kemp – Bangor University, Wales

Sep 2019 - Apr 2020

Hey shark lovers, I’m Rhianna Kemp, a 4th year undergraduate at Bangor University. I am studying Marine Biology with Zoology and I have been with Sharklab-Malta since September as part of my international work experience year. I chose Sharklab-Malta as it matches my interests of marine research and conservation and my main role at this organisation is the ‘Fly with Bullrays project’. The aim of this project is to learn more about the enigmatic Bullray (Aetomylaeus bovinus), a species of stingray, and therefore my main task involves tracking these rays on an individual level. To do this I go snorkelling in sandy areas and take photos of the top of the Bullray, which has blue stripes, that acts as a ‘fingerprint’ to identify them. I then log the locations that each bullray is found and create a database for each individual with the overall aim to see if they migrate throughout the Mediterranean. 

My time so far at Sharklab-Malta has been a joy and a pleasure. I look forward to the coming months of my internship and I hope to meet you at the Sharklab awareness days!

Ben Mason – Bangor University, Wales

Sep 2019 - Apr 2020

Hello everybody! My name is Ben Mason and I am an intern at Sharklab-Malta as part of my bachelor’s degree at Bangor University. I am studying marine biology and am obsessed with chondrichthyans, particularly the elasmobranchs, that led to me to Malta to complete the final year of my studies. 

Through the myriad of different activities I am involved with at Sharklab-Malta (fish market surveys, egg case surveys, public events) I find myself most engrossed with the fly with bull rays project. This project involves identifying locations that support the bull ray (Aetomylaeus bovinus) and identifying them on an individual basis. This involves photographing their dorsal side that have blue stripes unique to each individual like a fingerprint. As these organisms are critically endangered and data deficient any information gathered regarding them assists in their research and conservation, so I increasingly find myself drawn to this project. 

I look forward to the coming months and my remaining time at Sharklab-Malta and the possibilities and experiences that may present themselves while here.

Joachim MILLAN CANDELA – VetAgro Sup, France

Jun 2019 - Aug 2019

I am French and was studying in VetaAgro Sup in France. 

My experience in Sharklab: Snorkelling surveys, awareness days at the Malta National Aquarium, dissections, shark releases  …   sure thing is, you never get bored with Sharklab!

My internship was a very valuable experience for me both on a professional and personal level. I loved partaking in every Sharklab activity especially the ones related to the “Fly With Bullrays” project. Along with three other interns, our team had to spot Bullrays while snorkelling and take a picture of their dorsal stripes, so we could analyze them and identify individuals. We were very autonomous and I learned so much from a professional standpoint. Working with people who are as enthusiastic as you are about marine biology was very stimulating and I really felt like I was part of the organization.

With Sharklab, it DOES feel like you’re making a difference!

Sarah Hewitt - Cardiff University, Wales

Jun 2018 - Mar 2019

I am currently in my final year at Cardiff University studying BSc Marine Geography and I was an intern for Sharklab-Malta as part of my university placement year. My journey with Sharklab-Malta was a whirlwind!  During my nine month internship I met so many amazing people with a shared love for the ocean! I also learnt to scuba dive and found a love for sharks. I spent most of my time in the sea conducting snorkel surveys for the Fly with Bull Rays Project. If I wasn’t in the ocean I was behind a Sharklab-Malta stall helping to educate the public on elasmobranchs and hopefully change their perceptions of sharks. In 2020 I hope to graduate from Cardiff University, travel the world (including a trip back to Malta) and spread some shark love!

Abbie Jenkins - Cardiff University, Wales

Jun 2018 - Dec 2018

Hi, I’m Abbie Jenkins and I am a Marine Geography student from Cardiff University.

My 6-month internship with Sharklab–Malta is an experience I will never forget; I have memories I will cherish forever. Throughout my time I was involved in a wide range of day-to-day responsibilities with my main project working with “Fly with Bull rays”. Daily activities required snorkel surveys at different sites across Malta and helping with the data collection of migration patterns and Bull ray numbers by using photo identification methods.

One of my favourite activities over my time was helping and being a part of different educational events and workshops with my favourite being “Science in the City” located in Valetta and the Fish Fest located in Marsaxlokk. The workshops helped me gain knowledge and improve my communication skills that will help me in the future.

 enjoyed being a part of educating local people and inspiring the next generation to do the same. One of my lasting memories with Sharklab was being able to be a part of a shark release in Qawra where seven tagged Nursehounds and seven Smallspotted catsharks were released into the ocean bringing Sharklabs total release number to over 300.

Laurie Sazerat - Clermont-Auvergne University, France

May 2018 - Jul 2018

Professional training: « DUT biological engineering option Environmental engineering »

In May to July 2018, I was an intern at Sharklab Malta and it was an incredible experience.

I experimented with a photo-ID method on a species of ray – Bull ray.

I discovered the beaches of Malta and the marine ecosystem.

My best memory was when I saw the first bull ray of the season at Golden Bay.

Through dives, educational activities and participation at fish market I learned and discovered many facets of marine ecology but also the passionate members of the association. Wonderful experience!

Pauline Lapostolle - Faculty of Science, Montpellier, France

Mar 2018 - Aug 2018

Hi, I am Pauline Lapostolle, a French Masters student studying marine ecological engineering and biodiversity management at the Faculty of Science in Montpellier. I am especially interested in sharks, rays and skates species which I started to study with Ailerons Association in France several years ago. I chose to dedicate my internship, for almost 5 months, working with Sharklab-Malta, which gave me the opportunity to carry-out the study on two threatened batoid species : Bull rays (Aetomylaeus bovinus) and Common stingrays (Dasyatis pastinaca). These two species have already been recorded several times in several Maltese bays, so it can be hypothesised that if such species occur around these areas it is because specific environmental factors suit them particularly well there. My objective was to get a better understanding of their spatial distribution around Malta, which could be a useful tool for their future conservation. 

I hope that my study can help to optimise Sharklab-Malta surveys in the future, and help to improve the knowledge about the biology and ecology of these two threatened species.

Elle Bartleet – Cardiff University, Wales

Oct 2017 - Mar 2018

I am an undergraduate student from Cardiff University and since October I have been volunteering with Sharklab-Malta. My primary focus is with the ‘Fly with Bull Rays’ project whereby I use a non-invasive, intra-specific methodology, which allows me to be near the rays without harming them. The project is an incredible opportunity to see marine life and gain skills in snorkelling and diving, which is something I really enjoy. To see Bull rays in their natural habitat is beautiful, considering they’re a critically endangered species, I feel very lucky to observe them.
 
Being an intern with Sharklab-Malta has also been very interesting, particularly when I have attend the fish market. The diversity of Cartilaginous and bony fish there is impressive. These visits have allowed me to gain knowledge and skill in the identification of species, this is important for me as I hope to pursue a career in marine conservation. Overall, my internship with Sharklab-Malta has been an amazing experience, one I’ll never forget.
 

Shraveena Venkatesh - Ghent University, Belgium

Apr 2016 - Jun 2016

Hi, I’m Shraveena and I am a student at Ghent University (EMBC+ Programme)

During my internship, I assisted in fish market surveys of elasmobranch species. I got to see all kinds of interesting (and sometimes surprisingly large) rays, skates, sharks, bony fish and other marine animals. I also learnt how to check oviparous sharks and skates for eggcases and remove them for a rescue and release programme.

I helped dissect sharks and worked on getting parts of them, like their jaws, ready for displays. I had the opportunity to help use such displays to engage the public with the fascinating biology and physiology of elasmobranchs.

We also carried out eggcase hunts on beaches to help determine when and where the oviparous sharks of the Mediterranean breed. I also had plenty of opportunities to snorkel and look for bull rays for a photo-id catalogue.

I learnt a lot about elasmobranch biology and ecology.

The skills and experience I gained here helped me in my further education and with my master’s thesis. I also got to explore the beautiful Maltese islands, and snorkel through its bays where I saw my very first Common Stingray.

Right now I am working now on my PhD in Scotland, which is going well so far. I just completed a year and had a big scary review meeting. I assume it went well because I wasn’t thrown out of the university. I had some fieldwork off the Orkney Islands and got to do a little more travelling in Scotland. I am enjoying the Highlands of Scotland so far, despite the weather.

I’m even learning some Scottish Gaelic and learning about whisky as well. I’ll be going home to Bangalore over Christmas break for three weeks. I’ve already made a list of all the foods that I miss from home and that I want to eat when I’m there (most of them are very spicy). I am really looking forward to it. 

 I enjoyed every part of my internship. I had an incredible experience, thanks to Sharklab-Malta, especially Pam, Dave and Greg.

Mickey Saunders - Hadlow College, England

Mar 2016 - Apr 2016

I was with Sharklab-Malta for three weeks from March 2016 until April 2016. When I was being met in by Sharklab-Malta members at Malta International Airport they asked how they would recognise me.  I told them it would be easy as I would be the only arrival with pink and blue hair! (and I was!!!)

I was studying at Hadlow College in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management and whilst on my placement in Malta, I carried out many tasks such as repainting the divers air tank strap on sharkfins, activity days at Malta National Aquarium and visiting the fish market. My favourite task was the dissection of a female Nursehound, fondly named Jemima. (The Nursehound (Scyliorhinus stellaris), also known as the Large-spotted dogfish, Greater spotted dogfish or Bull huss, is a species of catshark) We preserved the eggs, organs, skin and skull for educational purposes, it is still being used for this purpose.

I also truly enjoyed being a part of a shark release despite being unable to dive. It was a very special day in my life and a privilege to be part of.

The lasting memory from this experience is the knowledge that even short amounts of time can make a difference too many people, both in knowledge, support and education as a whole. I am truly grateful to have had this experience.

I’m currently working for a finance company in customer services but now I have passed my driving test I’m trying to get out of that into a more meaningful job. I am thinking of undertaking a teaching position so I can try to make a difference to people.

Aurélia Changeant - Agrocampus Ouest Engineering School, France

Jun 2014 - Aug 2014

Hello, I’m Aurélia, I have a masters degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences from the French engineering school of Agrocampus Ouest.

During my two month internship in Sharklab Malta I took part in all of the Sharklab day-to-day activities: awareness events, getting landings data from the Valetta fish market, preparing awareness kits …

I also wrote a synthesis about shark fisheries management in Malta, France and United Kingdom. I learnt a lot about sharks and Mediterranean marine life during my time in Sharklab and it was a great experience to share knowledge with Sharklab staff and also with the general public during awareness events.

The diversity of sharks and rays species in the Mediterranean is extraordinary. Elasmobranches play a key role in the marine ecosystems, but they are vulnerable to human activities. I was glad to help Sharklab in their actions and the work they co-operate with the Maltese aquarium, the fishmarket and many other Maltese and international organisations.

My photos really represent my internship.

Charlie Widehem - Engineering School student, France

Nov 2013 - Feb 2014

I am 27 years old and I’m from France. I am very grateful to Sharklab for accepting me as intern for three months in November 2013. I was studying marine biology and fishery in an engineering school.

 I’ve always been a great fan of marine ecosystems and especially sharks. Not only the animal but everything that gravitates around them: from the biology to the societal aspect of our interactions. Greg, Pam, Dave and all the other extraordinary people who invest their time and effort in the NGO gave me the opportunity to fully dive into the Maltese shark world and fulfill my curiosity, whilst becoming my friends.

Since the end of my internship I have visited them several times and it is always such a pleasure to jump back in their daily activities – such as the well known and smelly fish market, biology and anatomy study through dissections, jaws cleaning, egg case searches, and one of the best parts, the numerous outdoor exhibitions.

 Meeting people and sharing our passion was I think the best part of my internship.

After gaining my marine biology engineering diploma I worked for the ICCAT on Bluefin tuna conservation.  Currently not working in marine biology in my new place as a data analyst.  My plan is to move soon back into this field with my girlfriend.  We are planning in go to oyster farming.

Kristina Edwards - University of Perpignan, France

Feb 2013 - Aug 2013

I was studying for a Masters degree in Biology at the University of Perpignan, France and wanted to specialise in Elasmobranchs. Sharklab-Malta offered me a great opportunity to study during my six months the Small-spotted catshark among other Mediterranean species.

Since leaving Malta I have worked at Sealife in Birmingham and I am now an aquarist at Loro Parque, Canary islands, so hopefully speaking fluent Spanish in few months and a very nice place to be.

It was a great experience that I will never forget, surrounded by passionate and knowledgeable people.

A huge Thank you to the team.  

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